Second Mexican state moves to enter highest level of covid-19 alert

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Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) take a swab sample from a man and woman for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in Mexico City, Mexico November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero

A second Mexican state will from next week enter the highest level of coronavirus alert as authorities bid to contain a recent jump in infections in the north of the country, the health ministry said on Friday.

The northern state of Durango will as of Monday join Chihuahua, a neighboring region on the U.S. border, in the red alert phase following an increase in hospitalizations.

Most of Mexico’s 32 regional governments are currently at the lower orange or yellow alert levels.

Since exiting the strictest phase of lockdown in June, the country has eschewed the kind of tough restrictions recently applied again in parts of Europe, opting for milder measures.

The ministry on Friday reported 5,931 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 551 additional fatalities, bringing Mexico’s total to 955,128 cases and 94,323 deaths.

The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.